- Andrew Marchand, ESPN Senior Writer
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NEW YORK -- In Derek Jeter's seventh at-bat of his career, on May 30th, 1995 he connected on a single off Seattle's Tim Belcher for his first hit. When Jeter reached first, none other than Tino Martinez was standing there for Seattle.
"I told him, 'Congratulations, and there are many more to come,' because I had read about him," said Martinez on ESPN New York 98.7 FM's Michael Kay Show. "Both he and Alex Rodriguez and Nomar Garciaparra, those guys were all coming up as the next superstars of the game and all that. I didn't know much about him besides what I read."
In the video, Jeter looks pretty unassuming, but at the end he cracks a slight smile when Martinez speaks.
"At that time, I obviously didn't think there would be 3,000 and something hits after that," Martinez said. "It is just an amazing career he has had."
On Saturday, Martinez will be honored with a plaque in Monument Park. Martinez said he found out about his plaque in April. He recognized the number as an incoming call from the Yankees. This is not unusual as he thought someone was asking him to make an appearance. Instead, he was told he was on speaker phone and there were 10 people in the room.
"I basically almost dropped the phone," Martinez said. "I was like, 'What?'"
He was totally surprised and called it as great an honor a player could have in the game.